“What Google has done for Linux, over the past few years, no other company has managed to pull off. By releasing two major platforms, both getting the most out of a Linux kernel, Google has put Linux in more hands than Canonical, Red Hat, SuSE, and any other company to have attempted to bring to life the Linux platform.” Yep. Jack Wallen is right. Canonical did a lot for GNU/Linux on desktop and server but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions Google has introduced to the joys of Free Software, stuff you can run anywhere anyway, examine, modify and distribute. Google did that by shipping hardware running the software and selling/shipping units. OEMs pay attention to that. Retailers pay attention to that. Consumers love it when businesses do what they do best and ignore the lock-step stupidity of Wintel. Now, anyone who has a better idea does not have to agree to the EULA or any other silliness from M$. Neither do they have to agree to use an Intel-compatible hair-drier for computation.
Further, Google combined all the best features of the cloud and thin client technologies to bring the user what they want, small cheap computers that can do all the things the user wants to do. Cheap hardware combined with cheap software makes cheap personal computers, exactly what users want. If you spend 6 hours a day on FaceBook, all you need is a browser and a platform to run it. Done! If you take thousands of photographs of your world and want to share them with the rest of the world, all you need is a device with built-in camera, operating system and networking hardware. Done! If you want to know where on Earth you are and how to get where you want to be, all you need is a device that is GPS-aware and goes with you. Done! To Heck with Wintel, a burden to all mankind. Wintel is for slaves, not free people. Thanks, StatCounter.
Google has leveraged its search engine, on-line ad business and FLOSS to bring */Linux to the masses and it took only five years to replace that other OS as the dominant OS of personal computers. They proved that FLOSS is good business. They proved that ARM works for everyone. Thanks, Google! You finished off the monopoly.